Three-time GRAMMY nominee Boney James has returned to former label Concord Records with a dynamic, genre-busting album The Beat. One of the most successful instrumental artists of our time with sales totaling over 3 million records, James' new project fuses his R&B/Jazz roots with Latin rhythm and percussion.
"This record was born of my love for both Latin and R&B music and became a mash-up of the two genres. The initial inspiration for the record was Sergio Mendes' "Batucada (The Beat)," which I re-imagined as a funk tune." "Batucada (The Beat)" reunites Boney with trumpet great Rick Braun. "Rick and I have a wonderful history. There is a certain edge and energy that comes out when we play together that creates a really cool vibe."
Other special guests on the project include eclectic R&B soul singer Raheem DeVaughn and spoken word phenom The Floacist. The first Urban AC single, going for adds in mid-February, is "Maker of Love," a sexy, soulful song featuring DeVaughn. "Raheem is an artist I've wanted to work with for a long time and we actually met by following each other on Twitter! I sent him the track and he came back with an incredible lyric and finished vocal," says James.
UK poet and musician The Floacist (former partner of Marsha Ambrosius) brings a seductive flow to "The Midas (This is Why)" which adds to the World Music flavor of the album. James says, "This track is a real serious mash-up with the R&B groove, the shekere and conga percussion, coupled with the ‘Euro' vibe from The Floacist!"
Other treasures on the album include James' fresh take on Stevie Wonder's R&B/Latin classic "Don't You Worry ‘Bout a Thing," along with originals by James that run the gamut from subtle and sophisticated with tracks like "Acalento (Lullaby)" and "Mari's Song," to high energy with "Sunset Boulevard," and "Powerhouse."
James produced the record and wrote (or co-wrote) eight songs. The album marks his return to Concord Records. Mark Wexler, General Manager/SVP, Concord-Telarc Label Group says, "Boney is one of those unique artists that truly understands his outstanding talent and knows how to blend his originality with what his fans love to hear. We couldn't be more thrilled to have him back as part of our Concord family." James is equally enthusiastic about re-joining the label, "Concord and I have had great successes, previously, and I couldn't be more excited to be working with them on one of the best records I've ever done."
In addition to his GRAMMY nominations, James is a Soul Train Award winner (Best Jazz Album) and has been honored with an NAACP Image Award nomination for Best Jazz Album. He has accumulated four RIAA Certified Gold Records. To date, nine of James' albums have reached No. 1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart and two have reached the top 10 on the R&B Albums Chart, a rare feat for an instrumental artist.
Boney is also renowned for his compelling live performances. According to The Boston Globe: "Let's make something perfectly clear: James is not a smooth jazz player. Yeah, he is often grouped with people like Kenny G and Najee, but his music is muscular and gritty....James swaggers across the stage like a blacktop hero draining trays on an overmatched opponent. He even weaves his way through the crowd, all but daring them not to have a good time."
Boney will be on tour for all of 2013 following the release of The Beat.
Initial tour dates are:
3/30 Detroit MI - Fox Theater
4/6 Las Vegas NV- Boulder Station
4/18 Panama City Beach FL- Seabreeze Jazz Fest
4/20 Durham NC- Carolina Theatre
4/23 Bergen NJ- Bergen PAC
4/24 Glenside PA- Keswick Theatre
4/25 Cleveland OH- Ohio Theatre
4/26 Pittsburgh PA- Byham Theatre
4/27 Buffalo NY- Buffalo State PAC
4/28 Alexandria VA- The Birchmere
7/21 San Dimas CA- Jazz Fest West
10/12 San Diego- Smooth Jazz Cruise
10/25 Troy NY- Troy Savings Bank Music Hall
10/26 New Haven CT- Lyman Center
10/27 Boston MA- Wilbur Theater